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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Belgo Anise Imperial Russian StoutBelgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

924 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 924
Reviews: 441
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 21.71%
Wants: 18
Gots: 162 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: EgadBananas on 05-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 924 | Reviews: 441 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickfl
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours with half a finger of orange-tan head on an opaque, black body. The foam disappears quickly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S - Earthy notes of chocolate and licorice with a bit of clove. Surprisingly little else, maybe a little molasses but that's about it.

T - Dark sugar notes up front with lots of molasses and brown sugar as well as some licorice. Some slightly fruity notes of cherry and red apple in the middle as well as a bit of tobacco. The dark sugar dominates the finish and the anise is right there with it in a sort of charred, woody way.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - To be honest, this sounded a lot better than it turned out to be. The anise works with the dark malt in a strange way that makes it come off more like licorice with a very dark, syrupy character rather than the bright, spicy notes I would normally expect. The Belgian yeast character is kind of subdued and only contributes a few fruity apple and cherry notes in the middle. The oak is really the last straw as it gives the beer an astringent harshness in the finish and contributes to the burnt character of the molasses notes. It isn't quite a drain pour, but it is pretty disappointing and I definitely won't be drinking this beer again.

Photo of Kegatron
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.75/5  rDev -21.4%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anise. Mmkayy. The first sip of this did not work for me, and I was prepared to not appreciate this beer. That did not last long though as I felt my mouth being coated by the thick body of the beer and the ingredients continued to hit mouth with the flavor profile. It gelled with my tastebuds and worked pretty quickly. The standard Stone RIS is a beer that, in my opinion, shouldn't be messed with, so I take this...decision...as a dangerous one. It works though, in its own way. But it'll be a one time shot for me as the anise is something I don't really want to return to. Excellent mass produced experiment with anise though. That should be commended.

Photo of mendvicdog
2/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice large fluffy thick 1 finger darker head that fades at a medium pace with some thick lacing, over pitch black beer, no light coming through there.

Nose is kinda weird, plenty of anise in there, but not spicy anise. It has some sweet sugars and a light cinnamon, kinda like those Italian anise flavored snowflake shaped cookies. Some light chocolate, hint of cocoa, a bit of roast, some vanilla and a light toasty oak.

taste brings plenty more anise, again not spicy or crazy, but a light but definite anise, but not really licorice either, its weird. Again some sweet malts and hint of cinnamon as well as other nutty spices bring a anise cookie flavor. Some creamy chocolate, hints of roast and cocoa, some caramel and darker malt flavors. A slight darker fruit and Belgian stout like roundness (if you know what I mean). The sweetness comes lighter but there, and brings some warming and slightly tingly booze. Some vanilla and hints of toasted oak round off the flavors. Some bitterness comes through partly from roasted malts and partly from a bit of earthy hops, which seem to pop up at the finish but are quickly pushed back down by the spicy booze and anise flavors that linger for a while.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, creamy, decent carbonation for the style, and warming and spicy booze.

Overall not bad but not great either. The anise is at least not overpowering, but not quite what I was hoping. Interesting but weird flavors, the darker malts are there but not as big as it should have been, and the anise cookie flavor and aroma was interesting but not quite right for this beer IMO.

Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of Slatetank
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I appreciate Stone's willingness to go against the trends with a spice that is not used as frequently which is my disclaimer...however I guess it has to be a spice you are very fond of.

A dark black looking stout with thick cream of light brown -looks good with tight bead and opaque clarity, lace sticks okay. The smell is where I don't really enjoy the beer as much -the first sense of it going awry anyway. I am not much of a fan of black licorice which is exactly what this smells like-black twizzlers ugh. The feel is okay but a bit clean with the spice erasing the sense of malt and leaving the palate a little too cool for the style I am supposed to be enjoying it is like a medicinal almost minty quality which seems like a natural mouthwash or witchhazel maybe.

The flavor is good but the anise comes into the flavor of the stout midway and just overtakes any flavor of coffee or oak or vanilla or caramel that you wish you would be tasting or might get in the original. The taste is almost like rootbeer it is so herbal and earthy as one of my compatriots mentioned during our tasting. I suppose if I were a huge fan on Anise I would be in love with the taste. I am not so pissed that I would dump this or stop drinking it but feel like the original beer has suffered by the heavy handed anise addition. I guess the review already gives you an idea why I gave the overall score of 3 -it is flavor I personally find to detract from the overall enjoyment of the stout so buyer beware.

Photo of russpowell
3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany/black with a pinky of brown colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, cocoa, a little anise

T: Molasses, plums, carob& dryness up front, some cherry boozeyness & leafy hops. Molasses, stone fruit & ainise as this warms with a touch of oakyness. Finishes with cherry, oaky notes, booze warmth & a bit more molasses & carob, plus just a bit caramel, chicory & oddly; cayenne pepper

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, somewhat slick

This is a quirky kind of RIS, but I do think that Stone's claims of historical accuracy are valid. Many years ago I tried courage RIS in England, this reminds me of that beer in many ways. I prefer the "Americanized versions, but this is interesting & good enough I would buy again

Photo of mactrail
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Truly one of the most memorable beers of the last couple of years. Very dark but more dark golden brown than black. A nice spritziness with a decent beige head. Thick bodied, though not as syrupy as a Barleywine.

Sweet with a candy and fruity flavor. The anise taste is like a liqueur. I don't even like licorice but I find this very drinkable in a totally off-beat way. Loads of dark malt, a touch of burnt sugar, caramel. But also sharp and tart in a fruity way.

I am not a big fan of Stone brews, but this one is audacious enough-- but well made-- to be likeable.

Photo of drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really playing with the IRS recipes this year, we had a bourbon one, now one with a different yeast, and now you added anise to it. I liked it but not as much as I hoped for. Served on draft at Churchkey in a snifter.

Beer is black with no head low carbonation, no lacing, looks like a stout.

Beer smells roasty, mildly malty and at the end some licorice / anise, smells nice actually.

Beer is thin to medium in body and a little sweet, the anise comes up in the mid to back half of the palate. It is present but almost gives the beer a candy like flavor to it. Not my favorite but I still love Stone. Keep it up Greg and company.

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of mdfb79
3.19/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had a bottle of this in my fridge for a few months, finally decided to crack it on this cool fall night. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my DFH tulip.

a - Pours a near black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.. Head lasts for several minutes with an inch lasting throughout drinking, and a little bit of lacing left on the glass. Looks amazing, and just like the normal Imperial Russian Stone.

s - Smells strongly of anise and black licorice, as expected. Also smells of roasted malts, light chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. The anise dominates the nose.

t - Tastes of black licorice and anise again, followed by alcohol, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and bitter coffee. Again, the anise dominates, and the alcohol comes through more than the normal IRS.

m - Full bodied stout and moderate carbonation evident. Thick and creamy, with a little alcohol heat, but good for a big stout.

o - Overall not a porrly made stout, but not for me. I must admit I am not the biggest anise fan, but Stone's IRS is one of my favorite RIS' I've ever had, so I had to try this one. The anise is just so powerful, even after several months, that I couldn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked. Wouldn't buy it again but if you like anise, this would probably be worth picking up.

Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown where light only passes through the glass edge. Tan head that settles to a single layer of bubbles. Leaves ring lace after each sip.

Dark malt aroma with a light tinge of licorice. No coffee or dark chocolate smells.

Imagine Good-n-Plenty dissolved in a dry porter. It doesn't have any of the burnt elements of a Stout. I'm fascinated by the taste--this unlike any beer I've ever had. So, I have to give it points for originality. The main taste and the aftertaste is mostly licorice (anise). Thinner than most stouts.

Worthy of a try because it is a very different beer.

Photo of Mora2000
3.11/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is straight black licorice with a little bit of roasted malt and chocolate mixed in. The flavor is even more one dimensional than the aroma. Other than the black licorice, I don't get anything, which is very disappointing. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. The anise/licorice really took over this beer, resulting in a beer I did not care for.

Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of orangesol
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of Gavage
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 1/4" tan head. No lacing develops.

Smell: anise is up front with some roasted tones in the background.

Taste: big roasted malt flavors with copious amounts of anise, dark bitter chocolate, prunes, and some moderate earthy tones. Decent bitterness levels. Alcohol is definitely warming here.

Mouthfeel:medium-heavy in body. Crisp at the start, smoother at the finish. Definite dryness arrives late.

Overall. Very slow drinking beer. Anise is unique but becomes a bit overwhelming as the glass empties.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a medium off-white head, good retention and lace.

S: Black licorice and anise city. This is the defining smell, with a light amount of dark chocolate.

T: Very good mix of heavy cacao count chocolate and the prerequisite anise character. A very good mix that works well. The complexity allows this version of the Stone IRS to be much more appealing young than the regular. I'm really enjoying the Stone Belgian creations.

M: Full-bodied, very smooth, soft carbonation.

O: This is a very good imperial stout. I'm very partial to anise, and maybe that's why I like it so much, nevertheless, this is something to try for sure even with my bias.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in Spring 2011. Pours dense pitch black color with a nice fairly dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, licorice, anise, raisin, prune, oak, light coffee, herbal, light clove, earth, and yeast esters. Nice and unique aromas with good complexity and strength, but the anise does overpower the other flavors quite a bit; very interesting. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, licorice, anise, raisin, prune, oak, toast, light coffee, light smoke, earth, and light yeast esters. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, licorice, anise, cocoa, dark fruit, roasted malt, toast, oak, light coffee, light smoke, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of robust roasted flavors, anise, yeast, and oak; with hardly any cloying flavors present after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, slick,. and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice and unique imperial stout offering. Nice complexity and balance of robust roasted flavors with anise and yeast esters; and fairly smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of imperialking
1.75/5  rDev -50%

Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone bomber, 2011 "odd year" offering. Typical IRS presentation, thick mocha head stays for a good long while. Tiny bubble sheen, scattered lacing.

Complex nose, chocolate, smokey burnt malts, licorish, dark fruits.

Flavorful, complex, well crafted, alot going on here. Follows the theme started by the nose, more smoke, chocolate, licorish, figs, a late minty note, dry and clean in the finish. Delicious stout, Belgian twist adds to the complexity and interest. Smooth and tasty on the tongue. Go get some of this interesting brew, would love to try it with a charred steak or with a fruity chocolate dessert....c'mon people..the numbers for the reviews of this one are way out of whack

Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Pours a deep black color, very dark with no color tinges at all. A very small tan head formed on top with a little bit of retention, but eventually there was nothing on top. Left behind wisps of thin lacing.

S: A surprising amount of cocoa on the nose with some roast and a little bit of licorice. There is a touch of molasses and a hint of dark fruit.

T: Again, quite chocolaty - surprisingly so. There is some coffee and more licorice and the anise comes through a little bit. Slight hop presence on the back end. Really, much better than expected.

M: Full bodied with medium carbonation. It is rather oily and slick with a dry finish.

O: Compared to what I had heard about this beer, I liked it a good bit. For being rather fresh, the usual harshness was gone and was replaced with lots of chocolate. Prefer the regular RIS to this for sure, but not bad at all.

Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 924 ratings.